The School of Life came into existence as a ‘resource for helping us understand ourselves.’ This book review; A Therapeutic Atlas, looks at how travel, both in reality and in our imagination, can literally broaden our horizons.
To celebrate MapLove being available as a self-paced online class, allowing discoveries to happen in your own time, I wanted to shine a searchlight on a guide that illuminates the unexpected.
An atlas has universal appeal – you can travel vicariously, plan a trip, reminisce about a past journey, trace paths of your ancestors, imagine an environment purely from its topography… Even the key or legend can be evocative, describing landscapes and features with symbols, colour and line. The border markings of longitude and latitude conjure up visions of sea voyages and daring expeditions.
This is an atlas with a difference, as less than a handful of maps can be found within its pages. Instead, you’ll see an array of places that ‘heal and captivate.’ The locations discussed are spread across the globe, with the purpose of bringing together places that give a particularly useful perspective of life.
Encouraging us to harness the ‘powers of memory and evocation’ means that it’s not always necessary to physically travel, explaining that ‘Some of the most important places we could visit are those that exist as yet only in dreams: speculative landscapes and cities summoned up by utopian thinkers…’
You’ll find out why the lemon is ‘our mind’s ally in its never-finished quest to ward off the tides of despair,’ along with many other life-affirming notions.
A Therapeutic Atlas is published by The School of Life.